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Re: ToolTips: bug or feature?

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 11:17:23 -0700
Cc: Jon Barnett <jonbarnett@gmail.com>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-Id: <BC468F39-F750-46AB-A67C-28B06E1B619A@apple.com>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>


On Jul 31, 2007, at 1:30 AM, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

>
>> Instead, I suggest precisely the opposite.  HTML 5 should explicitly
>> forbid @alt from being displayed as a tooltip*.  Also, @alt SHOULD  
>> not
>> be presented to the user in any way by default when an image is being
>> displayed - in the same manner that a UA doesn't display the contents
>> of <object> if the media is being displayed.  Any other behavior
>> encourages misuse of alternate content by encouraging authors to use
>> @alt as supplemental, not alternate, content.
>
> I agree that we should say 'user agents SHOULD NOT present alt and  
> title in a way that makes it impossible to distinguish them'.  
> Anything more is, I think, overly restrictive (and we would ignore  
> it in practice). Anything less is avoiding the problem.

I think the spec should suggest that title is meant to be displayed  
along with the content, while alt is meant to be an alternative and  
should not be presented by default if the content for which it is an  
alternative is being presented, much as <object> fallback content is  
not presented when the primary <object> contents are.

Just saying alt and title shouldn't be presented in ways that are  
indistinguishable doesn't clarify to authors how they are different,  
or to UA vendors how the presentations should differ. Making one a  
pink tooltip and the other a green tooltip would not solve most of the  
problems Ian raised, for instance. Intended addition/enhancement vs.  
intended replacement is a pretty clear distinction that does not  
overconstrain details of the presentation.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 18:17:59 GMT

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